This week, Imperfect Paradise is featuring Part 1 & Part 2 of a four-part series from How To LA.
Unsheltered life in L.A. can be dangerous and even deadly — and there has been a massive increase in the death rate for unhoused people in the county over the last few years.
There is work being done by the mayor’s office to get people off the street and into temporary housing. But the promise of services — whether in the form of housing, treatment for substance addiction, or mental health counseling — cannot help if people aren’t alive in 6 months, a year — or 5 — to receive them.
While they wait, many unhoused people have come to rely on mutual aid volunteers to cover their immediate needs, from overdose prevention to fresh drinking water.
In this mini-series from How To LA, host Brian De Los Santos and producer Evan Jacoby explore what these mutual aid groups actually do for our unhoused neighbors, and where these service gaps come from in the first place.
CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains strong language and includes sensitive content about drug overdose and death.
For substance dependency and mental health support and resources, call SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text 988.
Guests in Part 1: Ndindi Kitonga, founder Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid (PUMA); Jesse Goldshear, volunteer with PUMA and postdoc researcher studying public health at the University of California, San Diego; Aria Cataño, co-founder of WaterDrop LA; Sade Kammen, volunteer with WaterDrop LA and social worker in Skid Row
Guests in Part 2: LA Mayor Karen Bass; Councilmember Kevin de León of Council District 14; Councilmember Nithya Raman of Council District 4; Hawk, U.S. Veteran & Skid Row Resident; Sade Kammen, Volunteer With WaterDrop LA; Nick Gerda, LAist Unhoused Communities Reporter
Music in this episode composed by: Chris Schlarb, Dexter Thomas, Evan Jacoby, Floating Points, Geir Sundstøl, Ill Considered, Imaginary Softwoods, indiegamemusic.com, K. Leimer, Laurie Spiegal, Nala Sinephro, Laurie Spiegal, Meitei, Ricky Eat Acid, Woo
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Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live.
This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.